FAIRBORN — Nicole Adkins saw a local need and took actions to help meet it.
The Fairborn native has been couponing for 15 years, and decided to use her expertise for the benefit of others. She wanted to provide food and household items to community members in need.
“I grew up in Fairborn and know there’s a major need in Fairborn,” she said. “There’s a lot of people who struggle and don’t ever ask for help, and this is one way we can reach out to the community to be able to help those who are afraid to ask anyone in person.”
She approached her couponing group after wishing to take on the task as this month began, and each member decided to help.
Thus, With God’s Grace, a local charity-in-the making, was born.
“I reached out to my coupon group and said what I wanted to do, [asked] who wants to help me because I [planned] to do it with or without help,” Adkins said. “Everybody just started coming to help. Some did by donating items, donating time, making flyers … With all of us, we pull together as a team and here we are.”
It is in the process of receiving its 501.c3, but plans to host a food-giveaway event each month. It held its first Monday, Dec. 21, with 100 paper grocery bags full of items such as bread, cereal and pasta, to give to 100 local families. Handmade items, such as blankets, scarves and hats, donated pizza from Fairborn’s Dominoes as well as baby and toiletry supplies, were given away outside of the bags.
Each item was either donated or purchased by Adkins or members of With God’s Grace through their couponing abilities. The bags also included varying Bible verses written on notecards.
“There’s nine different [verses],” she said. “We’re hoping it will bless someone, so we put it in each bag. We aren’t here to preach at anybody or turn anyone away … We just want to help the needy. I’m not here to judge anyone.”
Recipients were given an index card with a number written on it, then as they approached the line they exchanged such for a paper bag. Adkins said some individuals had been waiting for the line to open up since 10 a.m.; the giveaway began at 1 p.m.
“Some people have been here waiting and that just shows me that the need is there,” Adkins said.
Its next giveaway will include a bag of groceries and is aimed to assist 150 families. The group, including Adkins husband, has already started ordering items to include in the bags, such as 720 vegetables they were able to obtain through couponing.
It will take place Jan. 23 at the Northridge Merchants Mall, 3700 Keats Dr., Dayton, 45414. Individuals wishing to donate to the cause can do so by dropping off money or non-perishable food items at Vacuum and Gifts, 1652 Kauffman Ave. or her home, 2024 Maple Grove Ave., Dayton, 45414. Adkins is also willing to make arrangements to pick up money and items; she can be reached by calling her at 937-397-4124 or through With God’s Grace’s Facebook page.
“I know a lot of homeless and needy people don’t ask, but if you set up somewhere they will come,” Adkins said. “If you don’t get into their personal business, they feel more comfortable to come and get the food for their families. That’s the key — making them feel comfortable, making them not feel afraid or worthless because no one is. This is all just the grace of God and we’re trying to pay-it-forward.”
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532, or by following her on Twitter @wnvickers. For more content online, visit our website or like our Facebook page.